Age as a Risk Factor in Abdominoplasty

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Recent studies reviewing large patient databases suggested that age may be an independent risk factor for abdominoplasty. However, these investigations by design considered only short-term major complications.


The purpose of this investigation was: (1) to compare the safety of abdominoplasty in an elderly and younger patient population; (2) to determine the complication rates across all spectrums: major, minor, local, and systemic; and (3) to evaluate complications occurring both short and long term.


Abdominoplasty procedures performed from 2010 to 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were divided into two groups: ≤59 years old and ≥60 years old. Major, minor, local, and systemic complications were analyzed. Patient demographics, comorbidities, perioperative details, adjunctive procedures were also assessed.


A total of 129 patients were included in the study: 43 in the older and 86 in the younger age group. The median age of the elderly and young groups was 65.0 and 41.5 years, respectively (P < .001). No statistically significant differences in major, minor, local, or systemic complications were found when both age groups were compared. Major local, major systemic, minor local, and minor systemic in the elderly were 6.9%, 2.3%, 18.6%, and 2.3%, while in the younger patients were 9.3%, 4.7%, 10.5%, and 0.0%, respectively (P > .05). Median follow-up time of the elderly (4.0 months) was no different than the younger (5.0 months) patients (P > .07). Median procedure time in the elderly (4.5 hours) was no different than the younger group (5.0 hours) (P = .4). The elderly exhibited a greater American Society of Anesthesiologist score, median body mass index (28.7 vs 25.1 kg/m2), and number of comorbidities (2.7 vs 0.9) (P < .001).


There was no significant difference in either major or minor complications between the two groups. This suggests that with proper patient selection, abdominoplasty can be safely performed in the older age patient population.

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